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Welland's Murals:
7. Welland's World War I Efforts

About the Mural
World War I: Welland Efforts by Risto Turunen, Lambeth, Ontario. Painted in 1990 at 57 Division Street (Columbus Hall) 16' by 16'. The mural illustrates Welland's efforts to support Canada's involvement in World War I.

The Artist's Interpretation
"The image of the four men on horseback is based on a photo of the 'Welland Canal Force' of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment guarding the Welland Canal. The soldier on the left is based on a photo of a local Welland soldier. The lower left corner is based on the image of a group of women in front of a streetcar, promoting the patriotic fund drive. The soldiers looking out the windows are among the troops departing from the Welland Junction train station. All the images used were from archival photos from the Welland area. I tried to keep the likeness fairly close to the original photographs, in particular the large image of the officer on the upper left hand side."

Your Virtual Guide's Comments
Based on old photographs, there is an interested juxtaposition of the nearly faceless groups alongside the detailed likeness of the young soldier. This point and counterpoint drives home the notion that the men and women of Welland who went to war each made a personal sacrifice, and perhaps, for the ghostly men on the train, the ultimate sacrifice. Included in the mural are the boys leaving for the trenches of France, soldiers guarding the canal, and the women who supported the effort at home. The sepia tone rendering of the guards is suggestive of an old photo album, heightening the nostalgic feel of the mural. 

About the Artist: Risto Turunen, Lambeth, Ontario
Risto is originally from Scarborough, Ontario and is a self-taught artist with a gallery in Toronto representing himself and his work. He is a graduate of the four-year art program at Cedarbrae College in Scarborough. Following his graduation, he worked as a designer and illustrator until, in 1979, he decided to pursue a full-time career as a 'fine' artist. He became represented by Nancy Poole's studio in Toronto in 1986.

He has received many awards and obtained commissions from private and corporate buyers across North America. Since 1989, he has mainly been involved in freelance illustration and mural work. Risto has had many solo and group exhibitions in recent years.

In addition to his two Welland Murals, Risto has completed an indoor mural in London, Ontario.

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